Friday, April 16, 2010

Plant a Vegetable Garden and Create Your Own "Food Revolution"

I haven't been a faithful watcher of Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution but I happened to tune into one episode where he asked a bunch of elementary school kids to name a bunch of vegetable in their raw form and they simply couldn't do it.  Tomatoes were apples and eggplant got a blank stare.  It was pretty shocking.  Our food has become so severely over processed that there is a disconnect from the garden to the plate.  One way to remedy this is to invite your children into the kitchen, involving them in cooking "real food".  Another way is to plant a vegetable garden and let them help in the responsibilities of planting, tending and harvesting.  I had two of my favorite friends over to help me plant some of our vegetables last week. 
They really took control, I didn't put one plant in the ground!  A week later they are asking if the plants have grown and if they can come over to plant some more.  Imagine how exciting harvesting and cooking with these vegetables is going to be for them.

I made a trellis for my snap peas out of a U shaped bamboo stake and some twine.  You can also use this method with tomatoes, which I'll be sure to show when I plant them.
Until the weather gets a little warmer we stuck with heartier plants like: beets, brussel sprouts, snap peas, leeks and various herbs.

I was warned by several seasoned gardeners that I might have a slug invasion if I planted lettuce in my raised beds.  There are methods to combat this like; planting geraniums next to them (which the slugs tend to favor and fill up on) or creating a copper border (which they apparently have an aversion to).  I opted for planting my lettuce and spinach in a pot (39.00 Costco).

If you live in a more urban environment you can grow all your vegetables in containers as long as you have adequate sunlight.  Even if it is a small pot of herbs it is worthwhile.  The point is that, every time you go out and pick off a sprig and put it in your food you are reminding yourself and your kids, if you have them, that our food comes from somewhere.  And that somewhere isn't from a package!

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